Monthly Archives: January 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup and Cheesy Biscuits

Friday evening, it’s been a long week.  It’s been cold and gloomy all day, threatening to rain/spit snow all afternoon.  It’s the perfect night for a quick fix dinner of my favorite homemade chicken noodle soup.  It goes together fast and is a great use for leftovers.  Here’s my recipe:

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Chicken Noodle Soup

In a large pot with lid, melt about a tablespoon of butter and saute:

1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. celery
1/2 to 1 c. shredded carrot

When the onion is tender and translucent, add:

58 oz. Chicken Broth  (I used a combination of frozen homemade turkey broth, and canned broth.  Remember that homemade turkey broth I made a while back? )
14 to 16 oz. Vegetable Broth (I make and freeze vegetable stock too, but for this recipe I used canned broth)
1/2 lb. cooked chicken, cut up (I used turkey leftover from Thanksgiving that I had frozen)
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 Bay Leaf
1 chicken bouillon cube (or add salt to taste, not both)
pepper to taste

Bring to a rolling boil and stir in 1-12 oz. package of Reames frozen egg noodles.  Reduce heat low enough to maintain a good simmer, partially cover the pot and cook until the noodles are done — tender, but still firm — about 20 minutes.

Serve hot with your favorite bread.  Tonight, I chose to throw together a copycat version of a popular sit-down seafood chain’s cheesy biscuits.

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Copycat Cheesy Biscuits

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a large bowl, and using a pastry cutter or fork, cut together:

2-1/2 cups Bisquick (I used my own homemade “Missouri Mix”)
4 tbsp. Butter cut into pats, cold

Cut just until the mix forms chunks the size of small peas.  Stir in:

3/4 c. Milk
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 c. shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I like the finely shredded kind)

Drop onto an UNgreased baking sheet using an ice cream scoop.  Should make a dozen or so biscuits.  Bake 15 to 17 minutes until golden brown on top.  Remove from oven and brush lightly with:

1 tbsp. melted Butter
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp. dried Parsley Flakes

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My mom was always the Queen of the Obvious, and I think she would have said, “Mmmm, warm.”

A Bed for Mibbildy Bibbildy Bibbits

I got a bee in my bonnet to sew this weekend, and settled on making a new dog bed for Mibbit, our female Bichon.  I was feeling bad for her because it’s been really cold for the first time this winter and  our wood floors make for some chilly napping.  Bibbits likes to crawl into my laundry basket and make a nest on the dirty clothes to keep warm.  We used to have a dog pillow she was particularly fond of, but after she had her first litter of puppies on it, it had definitely seen better days.

It’s not all that hard to make a big, square pillow that’s sewn on all four sides, so instructions are kind of unnecessary.  I will share the basics though.  The fill is shredded foam and cedar chips.  The cedar chips are a natural flea and tick repellent that you can buy at any farm or pet store for less than $10.  They smell good and absorb odors.  The remainder of the filling was a bag of shredded foam from JoAnn’s, which I got an amazing deal on today, paying less than $2 a bag.

I chose to use scrap fabric for this project.  For the shell of the pillow, I had one large piece of white cotton eyelet that was the perfect size, about 23.5″ x 28.5″. when folded in half.  I left the fold and serged two other sides, leaving one of the short ends open, yielding a 23″ x 28″ finished size when turned right side out.  I used about a third of the brick of compressed cedar I bought, mixed with one full bag of shredded foam, to loosely stuff the shell.  Then I stitched the remaining side closed on the sewing machine.

  

I made a pillow cover from a remnant of fabric that I don’t remember actually acquiring.  It’s always been here, and I’m not sure where it came from.  Considering we actually built this house, it could not have been left by a prior resident.  It reminds me of kitchen curtains, and ugly ones at that, but it’s fairly heavy weight and should stand up to a bit of use.  It wasn’t quite wide enough, so I grabbed a ridiculously small scrap brown corduroy that I’ve been saving for the last 25 years and made a border for the top of the cover.  I could see I had cut a garment pattern of some sort out of the corduroy, but I can’t think of what it was, and whatever it was, it was many years and many sizes ago.  The cover is about a half an inch overall bigger than the pillow when finished.

If you want to get really fancy, you can sew a zipper into one of the seams of your cover, or overlap the back like a pillow sham, both to make the cover easy to remove and launder.  For this cover, after I inserted the pillow, I just sewed the opening closed on my sewing machine and called it a day.

Mibbit doesn’t have to be shown twice.  I put her on her new pillow and she hasn’t gotten off it yet.  Last I looked, our other Bichon, Marley, was also firmly planted on it.  Priceless.

Peeps (Not the kind you eat)

Peeps

Boat Sock with Peep Lace Project

 

I work in a cube farm.  There is no dress code that I’m aware of, although it seems for the most part to be dress casual.  For me, I feel most professional, and comfortable, in slacks, reasonable heels, and a nice shirt.

Being no fashionista, little things throw me, like what to wear on my feet with my shoes.  Summer is easy when you’re wearing nice open shoes that don’t require socks or stockings.  Wintertime has always been a mystery to me.  “Socks, Stupid.  You wear socks,” would seem to be the obvious answer, but again, being no fashionista, sometimes socks with heels just doesn’t look right, and I don’t like bare feet in closed shoes.  If anyone thinks for one second that I might consider wearing hose or tights — oh, good lord no.  Just wrap me in rubber bands.  Several years ago I discovered trouser socks, which I really liked.  My husband, however, really didn’t, nor did my toenails, which regularly shreds anything hose-like.  There is also, of course, the footie, but I’m not 98 years old and I think footies look positively orthopedic.

I’m a new fan of Pinterest and have many projects pinned. I also get the proverbial bee in my bonnet.  A couple of days ago I ran across this single picture that went nowhere.  Absolutely no link whatsoever to where you might buy these adorable “boat” socks with the lace peep.  The solution to my winter shoe dilemma was before me and I couldn’t find them anywhere.  I want THESE.

Operating under the “If you can’t find it, make it” rule of life, brought me to today’s bee in the bonnet.

I did a lot of searching and I found a tutorial with a pattern for making your own standard lace boat socks.  Unfortunately after cutting out the first pair, it was obvious the pattern, although sized for women’s 8-9 US, was much, much too small.  Even with 20% stretch lace, there was no way this pattern was going to fit my size 7-1/2  (US) foot.  I also noticed that the shape was far too square for my liking and created corners that I thought would bunch up under my foot.  I’m certainly no princess, but I was having visions of rocks in my shoes.  With some scaling and redesign, I came up with my own PeepsPattern that I’m sharing here.

So here’s how you do it.

Download the pattern above, and buy your materials.  You’ll need some stretch lace, that has at least 20% stretch one way.  It needs to have a fairly distinct pattern to it so that your sewing machine will have something to grab on to.
You’ll need some decorative 1-1/2” lace edging for the peep, cut in 6″ segments for each sock.  You’ll also need 14″ of lightweight elastic, or lingerie elastic, for each sock.  I used 1/4″ width.  Some every day gift wrapping tissue paper would be very helpful too.
Cut two squares of fabric, 9”x9”.  Fold in half with the stretch going lengthwise.  Pin your pattern to the fabric, matching the fold.  Cut two of these pieces.
With the fabric pieces still folded, sew the heel and toe seams close to the edge using a zigzag stitch.  I used a 2.5 stitch length and here’s where the tissue comes in — my machine wanted to eat the very thin fabric, so reinforce it with some tissue to help it feed through properly as you sew.  The tissue will come right off after you’re done, but will leave some bits in the stitching.  Don’t worry about those bits, they’ll come out in the first wash.
 Whoops!  A picture is coming! Mark the center of your 14” piece of elastic.  Turn the footie right side out, start your elastic at the heel and pin the center mark at the toe seam on the right side (outside) of the footie.  Zigzag the elastic on, stretching the elastic, but not the fabric, as needed so that the elastic fits around the entire footie.  You may need to do a quick seam at the heel where the elastic ends meet, just to finish it off and make it neat.  Don’t worry about your thread showing on your elastic, because if your thread color matches, it won’t show.
Pin right side of lace edging to wrong side of center front, matching centers.  What you want to do is pin the bottom of the lace edging to the center seam and elastic, and then the slide the edging down into the footie so that by the time you get to each end, you’re pinning the top edge to the elastic.  That way your peep has a nice rounded effect to it.
Sew the lace edging on from the outside.  Sew along the elastic, then trim corners of lace off inside.  You’ll have to see the pics on this one, I don’t know how else to describe it.  (I’ll get a better picture for this step.)

Wash and you’re done!

Adjust the pattern for your foot size, and to raise or lower the location of the peep on your foot.  Don’t forget to adjust the elastic as well as you make changes.  Have fun!

Props to my hubby who helped redraw my crude hand drawn pattern using Adobe Illustrator (I’m a Corel person, I don’t have a clue howto work Illustrator).  He helped critique, and is absolutely mortified I resorted to using HTML tables to organize the instructions.  Sorry Sweetie, it’s been too long.

And next time I’ll let him take the pictures.